Something To Declare: Bethlehem; Swiss airline

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The Independent Travel

Tourism to Palestine has had a difficult few years, with a 90 per cent fall over the past five years, according to the website This Week in Palestine. "Too many tourists are bussed in and out of the city for a short visit to the Church of the Nativity". But a new campaign called Open Bethlehem is about to be launched that aims to tempt tourists to the reputed birthplace of Christ and to explore beyond its Biblical heritage. Bethlehem is a short way from Jerusalem, though the British consulate there warns: "Travel within the West Bank is not possible without passing through multiple Israeli military checkpoints". More information: www.thisweekinpalestine.com.

Warning of the week: Swiss needs watch

The German-owned airline of Switzerland, Swiss, was the worst time-keeper among European carriers at Heathrow airport in recent figures from the Association of European Airlines. The punctuality report shows that 43 per cent of its intra-European flights were more than 15 minutes late. Olympic Airlines of Greece, Austrian Airlines and Turkish Airlines also dispatched more than 40 per cent of their flights late. The best performer was Malev of Hungary, which got all but eight per cent of its flights to Budapest away within 15 minutes of schedule. From Gatwick, the Polish airline LOT dispatched three out of five of its flights late.

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